Ever faithful
to Saint-Émilion

Although the triangular facade looks impressive, almost solemn, and there is a great tower at the back, the château nevertheless retains the simplicity of a family home. Small-paned windows, the scent of wax and heavy curtains: Luc and Arnaud d'Arfeuille welcome guests to La Serre in a warm and intimate atmosphere.

A name associated
with the Right Bank

“Ever faithful to Saint-Émilion”: the d'Arfeuille family has made the motto of the Jurade de Saint-Émilion its own. And with good reason: it has been in the medieval town for three generations. In 1956, Bernard d'Arfeuille, a wine merchant on the quays of Libourne, acquired Château La Serre. His eldest son Luc d'Arfeuille took over from him in 1970. He embarked on a lengthy renovation project that placed La Serre among the great names in the appellation. He was joined in 2013 by his nephew Arnaud.

The family is well known in the vineyards of the Right Bank: Arnaud also runs Château Tessendey, on the heights of the Fronsac appellation, and his mother Martine d'Arfeuille was co-owner of Château Cheval Blanc until it was sold in 1998. Béatrice, Luc d'Arfeuille’s wife, was deputy mayor of Saint-Émilion from 1989 to 2001.

A long history

Three generations and more than sixty vintages bearing the d'Arfeuille name - that adds up, even considering the long list of owners. In the recent past, the vineyard belonged to the Marcon family (from 1868), Albert Macquin (1887), who for a time combined La Serre with the Pavie estate, Yves de Coulon (1948), Émile Hierf (1949).

Looking further back, the history of the site stretches back two millennia. The land of today’s vineyard may well have been used for growing grapes as far back as the Antiquity. What we can be certain about, is that the Franciscan monks of the Cordeliers Convent were also growing grapes in the 15th century. The current house was probably built in the late 17th century by Romain de Labayme, husband of Madeleine de Sèze, Sieur de Laserre. His family “included many jurats, lawyers in Parliament and five mayors of Bordeaux from the 16th to the 18th century”, explains Bernard Ginestet in his book on Saint-Émilion.

The d'Arfeuille family has something of a passion for La Serre. In some ways, everything that is done here, in the vineyards and in the cellars, reflects the history and heritage of the site.